A sigh of relief: new discovery could aid breathing problems

We all do it – that long, deep breath known as a “sigh” in order to express our sadness, relief or exhaustion. But you might be surprised to learn that sighing is actually crucial to lung function, and scientists have now pinpointed the brain cells that are responsible for it.Though we often sigh out of relief, tiredness or sadness, sighing is actually crucial to lung function. Jack Feldman, a professor of neurobiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), and colleagues publish the details of their discovery in the journal Nature. According to Feldman, a sigh is a deep breath, but it is not a voluntary one. “It starts out as a normal breath, but before you exhale, you take a second breath…


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